What Is Poverty?

Is the Poverty Meaning the Same for Everyone?

Though the accepted international rate of poverty is $1.90 a day income, it must be understood that this is a global standard based on many factors and is not reflective of an individual’s or family’s true understanding and experience of poverty, meaning the actual impact and daily realities it brings to them.[1] The rate is mostly helpful in gathering statistics worldwide in order to understand the scope of those living at a certain level of income. The World Bank estimates that around 700 million people live at this level of income.[2]

The experience of poverty is far beyond a number used for statistical purposes. For example, a family may have two parents working in the fields nearly every day for long hours. Their combined income is enough to provide roughly enough meals to keep from starving but not enough to pay for their children’s school fees or clothes or medical attention. In addition, their village may not have enough safe drinking water, which means one or both parents occasionally become ill from contaminated water, leading to missed work, which means less income.

This family does not look at $1.90 as the benchmark for their situation in life. Instead, what a family in that position needs is hope for improvement in one or more aspects of their life. They don’t need one good meal. They need a way to secure many good meals for their family. They don’t need one job. They need a reliable source of income that gives them access to education for their children. They don’t need one cup of clean water. They need a source of continual clean water.

GFA World sends missionaries into the villages and rural areas where poverty is a common problem. They see the multi-layered issues being faced by individuals, widows, orphans and families.They provide ongoing practical help that makes a long-term difference. It is this repeated ability to change one day at a time that gives hope.

The GFA Christmas Gift Catalog is where hope lives for many of them. When someone like you gifts a pair of goats, you are giving the start of a new future source of income that someone can be proud of and build on. When someone like you gives a mosquito net to a family in an area where insect-borne diseases are a threat, you are giving peace of mind that they can avoid unnecessary illness that might disrupt school and work. And when someone like you gives a water filter, you are ensuring a family’s access to healthy water.

All the gifts available through the gift catalog address one of the many aspects of poverty that GFA understands and longs to address through generous givers like you.

Learn more about what is poverty